Theissen: FOTA left with no choice

BMW Sauber team boss Mario Theissen said FOTA did its utmost to reach a deal in the row with the FIA, but was left with no choice but to announce a breakaway series

The eight FOTA squads declared late last night that they would proceed with plans to launch a rival to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from 2010.

"The FOTA teams endeavoured to the very end to reach an agreement, but regrettably the FIA refused to back down from its rigid position, insisting that the teams must first sign up before there could be any negotiations on the rules. This was unacceptable to us," said Theissen.

"FOTA therefore has no choice but to press ahead with preparations for an alternative championship."

He is confident that FOTA's championship will be received positively by F1's fans.

"In the series organised by FOTA, the best drivers and the best teams will compete against each other," Theissen said.

"This will take place within a stable set of regulations and a transparent management structure. We will also take into account the wishes of the fans, who have lent us a great deal of support particularly in recent weeks."

Theissen also reiterated his belief that FOTA had made a major contribution to the health of F1 since its formation last summer.

"Since its founding in September of last year, FOTA has been committed to cutting costs in Formula 1, enhancing its appeal and supporting independent teams," he said. "During this short period of time, more has been achieved than ever before in the history of Formula 1.

"We will not be making any further statements on the matter during this weekend. We want to concentrate fully on the race and provide the fans with the spectacle they deserve."

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